Editor’s Note: This guest post is the follow up to yesterday’s “Dude Where’s My Job? Episode 1 – Where to Look“. We hope you find it both entertaining and informative.
I’ve already briefly mentioned the importance of networking, but I wanted to go into a little more detail. The hardest part about the job hunt is getting your foot in the door. Then all you have to do is prove you’re not incompetent.
P.S. If you’re incompetent then it’s all pretty hard. Have you thought about the circus? Not like Cirque du Soleil, but an actual circus. You could be like an elephant feeder or something.
I’m gonna use some declarative sentences to drive the point home.
There ARE relevant associations or groups that are dedicated to your specific career path. FIND THEM! Reach out and meet all of them. Sitting in your home filling out applications and sending out resumes is the least effective way to find employment.
Tell everyone you’re looking for work. You know someone who knows someone who has a vacancy that is not advertised. You’ll never discover these links until you advertise that you’re looking for work. Tweet it, put it as a Facebook status…wear a sandwich board if you have to.
You will make connections online if you use Social Networking effectively. Here are some steps to get you started.
Step 1: Gather the Following Tools
- Word Press/Blogger (optional)
- Construction Paper, Glue, Glitter and Macaroni
If you don’t already have these things, you’re like 5 years behind everyone else. Maybe you can find a job in a nostalgia shop or playing an old-timey person at a historical site. Set up the Social Networking sites with your professional information.
When it comes to job hunting, Twitter is your most valuable tool.
Step 2: “Like” and “Follow” Relevant Companies and Influential People
Identify all of the companies you want to work for, and all of the companies they engage with online as well as the people who work in those companies. Follow members of your local Chamber of Commerce and Politicians. Don’t limit yourself to your geographic region. When people in your region see you interacting with influential people from other countries, they’ll be super-impressed and will totally call you right away-ish. Also, if you’re single with no kids and don’t own land, you can travel at the drop of a hat to any employer who wants you (OR you’ve got a really good opening for a suicide note).
Step 3: Engage with These Contacts
Just following them doesn’t really do anything for you. Companies have Social Networking sites for PR and marketing purposes. When you retweet or comment on something they post, they feel as though you’ve rewarded them. Think of them like a puppy. Every time you retweet or reply to their post, it’s like petting the puppy. It makes them like you more and more. Someday the puppy will get big and you’ll want it to attack your enemies. Your enemy right now is unemployment.
Don’t you want a giant puppy to attack your unemployment? Start petting one now!
Twitter also has a lot of discussion groups called “Twitter Chats” that get together and have moderated discussions about all kinds of topics. This is a great way to increase your network. Provided you don’t act like a complete tool, people will see your comments and want to see more of what you have to say. Then they’ll follow you. Then they’ll start re-tweeting and sharing your content. Other people will see it…and so on.
Nothing is more impressive to an employer than someone with an impressive list of business contacts who engage with them on a regular basis…well…except for like education…experience…skills, but it’s pretty high on the list. (Warning: Companies who don’t understand Social Networking will actually not be impressed at all).
Step 4: Start a Blog
It’s not a waste of time unless you’re a terrible writer. In that case, it’s actually counterproductive (That’s why it’s optional). Chances are you won’t have much more information on whatever topic you’re blogging about than experts in the field, but you’ll have a unique opinion that others may enjoy. It’s not really what you say, but how you say it. Attempt to become a “voice” in your desired field.
Step 5: Try not to Beat Yourself Up
You may not find something right away. Finding a job takes time. Use the craft supplies to make yourself a special little good luck card. If you’re the guy with no family or land no one else is gonna do that for you buddy. Chin Up!
About the Author: Scott Keenan is a twenty something with a uniquely cynical view on everything. Scott specializes in Human Resources and Marketing, and he “shares the awesome with you as often as he can.” Check out Scott’s blog, and connect with him on Twitter!